6 Ways to Explore Flex Shaft Possibilities with Andy Cooperman | Jewelry



Who had been your favorite lecturers in school? If you assume back, I’m absolutely sure you’ll recognize that the kinds who manufactured the major impression on you didn’t basically train you a checklist of predetermined details. Rather, they taught you how to consider in new information and facts and assume for by yourself.

Earlier mentioned: Andy reveals quite a few approaches to use a ball bur, together with how to make “alligator scale” texture.

Metalsmith Andy Cooperman fits this instructor model correctly. In his possess words: “My job as a instructor is to open up doors for men and women and get them to believe a very little outside of the box.”

master the flex shaft with Andy Cooperman
Andy Cooperman is identified for using his flex shaft in imaginative techniques, these as making a pebbly texture on steel to roll versus a softer metal. He enjoys educating his college students to discover resourceful, unconventional means to trouble resolve with tools like the flex shaft.

Andy stays legitimate to his philosophy even in his two on the web workshops for mastering the jewelry flex shaft. Alternatively of directing you step by action, he normally takes you as a result of a series of assorted approaches to spark your have discovery into how to consider advantage of the flex shaft.

Let’s just take a peek at just a several illustrations of distinctive means Andy wields his go-to instrument.

Texturing with the Ball Bur

In Learn the Jewelry Flex Shaft: Volume 1, Andy covers a good deal of territory, which include a lot more kinds of burs than I ever imagined existed. Just one of these is the marvelously functional ball bur.

To see Andy’s mastery of the ball bur in action, check out out this excerpt from his quantity 1 workshop (now readily available in a unique value bundle grasp course with volume 2):

To create the look of alligator scales, he demonstrates working with the bur to make indentations in steel. If you roll it out from something comfortable, this sort of as sterling, you’ll be equipped to see a beautifully lifted pattern. This is how Andy developed the pebbly surface area on his series of Fibonacci Pins.

master the flex shaft with Andy Cooperman
Andy shows how the cylinder bur can, among the other factors, make a pin catch or a groove in a design and style.

Routering with a Cylinder Bur

Together with its many other abilities, the cylinder-formed bur can be utilised like a router. Come from beneath the function and range the speed as you lower in. This is how Andy built the capture on his Fibonacci Pin and the grooves on his Hummingbird Tongue ring.

master the flex shaft with Andy Cooperman
Separating discs are wonderful for producing notches for prong settings, mating two items, and lots far more.

Notching with Separating Discs

Separating discs are amongst some of Andy’s own favorites. These wheels slash nearly anything at all: steel, glass, stone, bone, and plastic. Be harmless have on a mask and protection glasses whilst you do the job.

Separating discs are excellent for chopping notches. While they can be utilised for realistic needs these kinds of as sizing down a ring or creating prong options, separating discs with a spacer among them can produce ornamental picket traces in a piece. Numerous discs stacked alongside one another will make wider notches, handy for mating two items.

master the flex shaft
The hammer handpiece presents the force although you target on precision. Stippling and stone placing are just a several points it’s beneficial for.

The Many Talents of a Hammer Handpiece

In Learn the Jewellery Flex Shaft: Quantity 2, Andy wastes no time ahead of diving into extra suggestions and methods. Since the potential to swap out handpieces is 1 of the flex shaft’s best strengths, Andy introduces you to on of his favorites: the hammer handpiece.

This tool lets you to harmony pressure and precision with no compromising possibly. Praising the high quality and affordability of the Variety 15 Foredom hammer handpiece (affiliate url), Andy demonstrates environment a stone in a large-walled tube by hanging all-around the edges at reduced speeds.

He also demonstrates how to develop wonderful stippling with a tougher-than-steel carbide stylus in the hammer handpiece. Ordinarily accomplished with a hammer and punch, stipling with the flex shaft allows you to emphasis only on accuracy as the machine gives the power.

master the flex shaft with Andy Cooperman
Andy will make his have pit pounders from metal eye screws or eye bolts. They can be used for burnishing and compacting surfaces and even for upsetting.

What is a Pit Pounder?

You can order rotary burnishers, margin rollers, and the like, but building your own is quick sufficient. Andy purchases metal eye screws or eye bolts at a components shop and eliminates the zinc coating by applying a snap-on disc or a rubber wheel.

After eliminating the zinc, you will have your personal pit pounder! You can use it in your Foredom #30 (affiliate url) to burnish and compact surfaces, squeezing metallic into the pits. Given that the pit pounder allows you to see by way of it as it spins, you can view how your piece is changing.

This pit pounder can also be applied as a typical hammer, as it has marginally additional power than a hammer handpiece for specified predicaments. In upsetting (also termed edge forging), you pound the edge with a hammer to thicken it and give a wonderful end.

master the flex shaft
The flex shaft can even be utilised like a lathe to flare rivets or swage tubes.


Usually with the flex shaft, the operate stays stationary while the tool spins. However, Andy reveals you how to flip that around, placing your function in the handpiece and holding your instrument constant. In this way, you can use your flex shaft as a lathe.

You can make flared tube rivets by inserting tubes into the flex shaft and shaping them with middle punches or burnishers. In a method referred to as swaging, Andy demonstrates how you can squeeze the tube with round-nose pliers to reshape the metallic. No substance is lost—rather it is compressed.

These six illustrations are just a glimpse into how Andy Cooperman looks to his flex shaft to creatively resolve problems. Master much far more in his workshops. Alternatively, verify out Interweave’s on the net workshops for on-need obtain to an at any time-growing library of programs.

Go be innovative!
Tamara Kula

Initially released on January 18, 2019. Current April 5, 2022.

Allow the Flex Shaft Open Doorways for You!


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